Escapism

Dear Reader,

I’ve checked this site’s stats and see you are getting around, from country to country, just like old times. You haven’t even slowed down.

I trust you are keeping well.

That washroom I used to like at work, with the dim lights, I miss it. My washroom at home is too bright. The only time I look reasonable now is after dark, with a scarf over the night light. But it isn’t as good as the magic mirror at my old workplace. That little dose of fantasy kept my spirits up. And I’m staying away from that magnifying mirror I made the mistake of buying. In fact, I don’t look at mirrors at all anymore.

So here we are, you and me. It’s cocktail hour. I fancy a bit of whisky. There are several options; Irish, Jameson? Or perhaps Welsh, Penderyn. Scotch? Bowmore, Macallan. The other night I tried Bulleit Burbon and slept really well. I’ll go with that one

even though Penderyn is the best. – I’ll save it for a special occasion. The only country in Great Britain missing whisky here is England. They have good beer. I’ll bring in some Old Speckled Hen.

I’ve been watching more TV.  I tried a Canadian channel yesterday, from Edmonton. They were talking about saving an old neon sign in their city.  How refreshing!  It wasn’t about people getting sick and dying.

What’s happened to the news? Was Walter Cronkite a Republican or a Democrat? Now it’s obvious who the newscasters favour – the same ones as their employers, the networks.

I had to decide: Republican or Democrat? Is there an impartial choice?
It seems there is only one network if you want a Republican, the one the president calls into.  And several for the Democrats.

Why get angry and all worked up at the end of a long day?  I just want peace and contentment.  So I pick one I agree with.

I used to have little crushes on different newscasters, just one at a time though, like my relationships. There was Dan, when I was married to a guy who looked like him. After the divorce my preference turned to blonds. In later years I had a thing for Wolf. Then I got a boyfriend who looked like Wolf, we broke up, and that was the end of Wolf.

In those days I didn’t know who the newscasters voted for. They were pretty stoic. Now everybody knows. TV news lost something valuable: Objectivity.

I’m going to try a little wine now. How about you?

After a small dose of the news I need a diversion before the late night shows. I Love Lucy has been interesting. They smoke a lot in that show. When Lucy thinks she’s in trouble she calls Ricky “Sir.” The other night he took her over his knee and spanked her.

There’s Ancient Aliens: “…but what if…”   And old movies. I really like those, especially the Thin Man series, Phillip Marlowe, and anything Humphrey Bogart is in – “they fished him out of the drink,” “listen sister,” “just another dame.”

The wine is good, local and reasonable: Pinot Noir – Siren’s Call bcwinestudio.ca.

With summer approaching I’ll have to watch 10 again one of these evenings. My favourite scene is George and Jenny walking on the beach in Mexico.  So romantic.  And what is better than a dream coming true?

Another summer must is Billy Wilder’s The Seven Year Itch with Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell. It’s best on a hot summer night.

I’m reading The Big Goodbye by Sam Wasson.  It’s making me feel nostalgic for Jack Nicholson in Chinatown – a classic.  I always wondered about the process Robert Towne went through to create that Oscar winning screenplay. The answer is he had a lot of unacknowledged help:  from research by his girlfriend Julie Payne, development from his old friend Edward Taylor, and wrap up by the director Roman Polanski.

Escapism. Why not?

There’s this virus…

Quotes

“Ok, everyone who is not a woman stop talking.” -Mika Brezensky, October 30, 2018, Morning Joe

“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.” -Lao Tzu

“Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” -George Carlin

“I like to hold the ball.  I feel like that really disrupts the base runners.” -Max Scherzer pitching for the Detroit Tigers

“Going to the pet store drunk is like going to the grocery store hungry.  Blah, blah, blah I own an iguana now.” -TinySparks at Mr. Jeremy Horn, Twitter

“Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience.” -Oscar Wilde

“And speaking of cartoon characters with apparent drug problems, how come Donald Duck has been going around for 50 years wearing a shirt but no pants?” -Dave Barry Talks Back

“A computer once beat me at chess but it was no match for me at kick boxing.” -Emo Phillips

“Don’t worry about making waves simply by being yourself. The moon does it all the time.” -Scott Stabile / Twitter @DrKellyCampbell

“Be regular and orderly in your life so that you may be violent and original in your work.” -Gustave Flaubert

“Life is full of obstacle illusions.” -Grant Frazier

The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.” -Robert Fulghum

“The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.” -Maureen Dowd

“I have found that if you love life, life will love you back.” -Arthur Rubinstein

“Tweeting this from the White House. The Obamas look so peaceful sleeping.” -Conan O’Brien

“A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” -Wayne Gretzky

“What is this compulsion to have people over to your house and serve them food and talk to them?” -Larry David

“Two men look out through the same bars. One sees the mud and one the stars.” -Frederick Langbridge

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler.” -Albert Einstein

“Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say, and say it hot.” -D.H.Lawrence

“If you have a talent, use it in every which way possible. Don’t hoard it. Don’t dole it out like a miser. Spent it lavishly like a millionaire intent on going broke.” -Brendan Francis

“Don’t forgive, never forget, and do unto others before they do unto you.” -J.R.Ewing, Dallas

“Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” -Martin Luther King Jr.

“We would worry less about what others think of us if we realized how seldom they do.” -Ethel Barrett”

“A bit of fragrance clings to the hand that gives flowers.” -proverb

“Voters may vote after the deadline, provided that they were in line when the clock struck seven.” -Jason Linkins, “Long Lines in Virginia” Huffington Post, November 6, 2012

“You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout, I’m telling you why. Most of you are going to hell.” -God @TheTweetof God, Twitter

“You can’t think yourself out of a writing block, you have to write yourself out of a thinking block.” -John Rogers

“I’d kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.” -Steven Wright

“There’s math, and then everything else is debatable.” -Chris Rock to Jerry Seinfeld, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

“You know you’re beginning to fascinate me, and I resent that in any man.” -Aunt Hortense, The Gay Divorcee

“If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter.” -T.S.Eliot

“To my mathematical brain, the numbers alone make thinking about aliens perfectly rational.” -Stephen Hawking, El Pais, September 25, 2015

“The underlying message of all his direction is:  You are enough. I don’t need more than you. I don’t need less than you. You’re enough.” -David Hyde Pierce about Mike Nichols, Vanity Fair, October 2015

“The only reason they say ‘Women and children first’ is to test the strength of the lifeboats.” -Jean Kerr

“There’ll be two dates on your tombstone

And all your friends will read ’em

But all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em” -Kevin Welch

“As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind; every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder.” -John Glenn

“I don’t believe in astrology. I am a Sagittarius and we’re very skeptical.” -Arthur C. Clarke

“Men always want to be a woman’s first love. Women like to be a man’s last romance.” -Oscar Wilde

“A good holiday is one spent among people whose notions of time are vaguer than yours.” -John B. Priestly

“If I’d asked my customers what they wanted, they’d have said a faster horse.” -Henry Ford

“The best that most of us can hope to achieve in physics is simply to misunderstand at a deeper level.” -Wolfgang Pauli

“Is the brain the producer or reducer of consciousness?” -Whitley Strieber, Jeffrey J. Kripal Super Natural

“Bachelors know more about women than married men. If they didn’t, they’d be married too.” -H.L.Mencken

“I started a new dating website.  It’s called ‘Go Outside'” -Keenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live

“Don’t be afraid.” -Donald Trump, 60 Minutes, November 13, 2016

“Quotation:  The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.” -Ambrose Bierce

“Give me my pipe and slippers and a beautiful woman, and you can have my pipe and slippers.” -Niki Charles, Song of the Thin Man

“It’s our job to investigate the un-explained, not to explain the un-investigated.” -George Knapp, KLAS TV Las Vegas / Radio host Coast to Coast a.m

“Being the best is great. You’re the number one. Being unique is greater, you’re the only one.” -Anonymous

“A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn’t.

A man marries a woman expecting that she won’t change, and she does.” -Unknown

“You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.” -Naguib Mahfouz

“We’ll always have Paris.” -Nick (Humphrey Bogart) to Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), Casablanca

“Is there anything better than to be longing for something, when you know it is within reach?” -Greta Garbo

“If you want a happy ending, that depends of course on where you stop your story.” -Orson Welles

Posted in Old News, quotes, Special people. Tags: . Comments Off on Quotes

Dear Reader

How are you holding up?  So many countries, you are always on the go.  Do you like flying?  I hope so.

When you aren’t in the U.K. or Brazil, Italy, France and all those other places, you come to Canada.  Do you like it the best?

I’ll pour some wine.

That solar vortex they’ve been talking about, it’s hit Vancouver.  It is very beautiful but cold.  Whistler cold.  Antarctica cold.  Ok, not that cold.

The wine is good.  Prophecy  Pinot Noir  California

Have you ever been to California?  It’s wonderful!  I feel like a million the moment I step off that plane…It’s winter here, it’s dark, people are coughing.

The drive to the airport…

A lot of drugs and alcohol later, a balmy breeze ruffles my freshly coiffed hair, gently dispersing the Chanel Chance green I bought at the duty free.  Flowering cacti blanket the sandy hills.  But I digress …

I’ve been meaning to express my appreciation.  You’ve been with me for 10 years. Thank you!

Every now and then I look for where you are, and wonder what you’re doing there.  What are you doing there?  Really?

I’m going to California soon.  The sun will be setting.  The air will be sweet.

You were in Egypt yesterday.  Is the terrain similar?  Have you been to the pyramids?  Does the desert bloom?

So many questions.  I’m more of a listener.

Dear Reader, enjoy your travels.  Stay in touch.

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Address to a Haggis by Robert Burns

In Scottish

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great chieftain o the puddin’-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye worthy o’ a grace
As lang’s my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o need,
While thro your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour dight,
An cut you up wi ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn, they stretch an strive:
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
The auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
‘Bethankit’ hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi perfect scunner,
Looks down wi sneering, scornfu view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll make it whissle;
An legs an arms, an heads will sned,
Like taps o thrissle.

Ye Pow’rs, wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies:
But, if ye wish her gratefu prayer,
Gie her a Haggis

English translation

Your pin would help to mend a mill
In time of need,
While through your pores the dews distill
Like amber bead.

His knife see rustic Labour wipe,
And cut you up with ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright,
Like any ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm steaming, rich!

Then spoon for spoon, the stretch and strive:
Devil take the hindmost, on they drive,
Till all their well swollen bellies by-and-by
Are bent like drums;
Then old head of the table, most like to burst,
‘The grace!’ hums.

Is there that over his French ragout,
Or olio that would sicken a sow,
Or fricassee would make her vomit
With perfect disgust,
Looks down with sneering, scornful view
On such a dinner?

Poor devil! see him over his trash,
As feeble as a withered rush,
His thin legs a good whip-lash,
His fist a nut;
Through bloody flood or field to dash,
O how unfit.

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his ample fist a blade,
He’ll make it whistle;
And legs, and arms, and heads will cut off
Like the heads of thistles.

You powers, who make mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill of fare,
Old Scotland wants no watery stuff,
That splashes in small wooden dishes;
But if you wish her grateful prayer,
Give her [Scotland] a Haggis!

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She said

She said:  You seemed a little tentative last time I brought trifle.

20 minutes after dinner, while she’s freshening up,

then midnight to 2 should finish it.

She said:  But I know you like custard

… still a few hours tomorrow morning before the noon deadline …

She said:  So I made it myself

Bernie’s away. I’ll have to chair the directors’ meeting.

She looks very pleased with herself.

Check the agenda.

She said:  I did keep the jello. I know you like raspberries!

Ok…, distracted now by the open wine …

Good, as long as no one wants to add Other Business …

She said:  Mmmm

She’s smelling it.

I probably won’t need the time anyway, but it’ll take the pressure off.

She’s pouring us glasses.

Those grey sheer curtains aren’t working. That was their mistake. I know I ordered …

She said:  Cheers!

“Cheers!”

clink

I’ll be in the Review at least until 2, last time it was after 3,

…what is the topic?

She is pretty,

warm eyes.

She said:  Earth to Asteroid 8240, come in…

She seems so happy to see me.

I love her laugh.

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The Meaning of Relativity by Albert Einstein, Introduction by Brian Greene

Brian Greene and I speak the same language, English, at least in some of his books.

His simple explanations bring concepts into focus for simple me.

His Introduction was a pleasure.

And then the Introduction ended.

The main event began.

The Meaning of Relativity

page 1:

“The theory of relativity is closely connected with the theory of space and time. I shall therefore begin with a brief investigation of the origin of our ideas of space and time, although in doing so I know that I introduce a controversial subject. …”*

As much as I cherished the lessons from Brian Greene, here now was Albert Einstein, talking to me like I understood every word.

Bliss.

Communication is so important. Despite the wide chasm in our I.Q.s, we were doing just fine since we met 3 minutes ago. I eased deeper into the Macy’s Martha Stewart medium and extra firm pillows, took some deep relaxing breaths, and rejoiced in my good luck to finally be introduced to him, Albert Einstein, after all these years. Why had I resisted for so long?

page 3:

“…By means of simple changes in position we can bring two bodies into contact…”*

He is a sweet talker. I don’t mind.

But then, as all relationships do I suppose, a perturbation arose.  It happened when I turned to page 4;  a lack of understanding if you will, a gap.

What was that?

– An equation.

I read the passage once more, and again.  Yes, phew, got through that hurdle.  And we are back on track.

“Does anyone ever call you Al?”

Onward to page 5.

Here again was a challenge. Another equation. But it was small, simple letters.

Got it. Where there is a will there is a way Al.  Now that I’ve found you I’m going to persevere.

And so Al continued his discourse.

Wow! Who knew? Me and Al.

Until page 6, where a total communication break down occurred.

Sadly, our relationship was over.

With a heavy heart I turned off the light.

I will always remember the hope. And now, to dream.

*The Meaning of Relativity by Albert Einstein with an Introduction by Brian Greene
Princeton University Press, New Princeton Science Library Edition, 2014
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Bernie Sanders I Love You

NYT, Seth Wenig/Associated Press

NYT, Seth Wenig/Associated Press

No I do not want to look at your condo rental in Santa Monica

Not your baby cousin either.

“Mmm”

Not your begonia or any of its friends, the trifle you made, shoes exactly like our server has – I’m taking your word for it.

“Cheers!”

Yesterday’s sunset, your brother’s car, the full moon.

“It doesn’t do justice to it does it? It’s always bigger than the picture shows.”

I haven’t seen you in a while. Put down your device. Look at me. I’m talking to you.

“Did you finish the eagle sculpture you were working on?”

Ah, yes. There it is. Well, it is really grand.

“How is your mother?”

Of course, a picture is worth a thousand words.

“I’m taking my glasses off.”

I’m opening the case and dropping them in. There. And now, into the purse…

“It looks like a toxic dump. Oh, it’s the modern painting in your living room. Yes, I can kind of make that out, now that you mention it.” [squinting]

“No glasses…” [gesturing to eye area]

“Certainly. I have them.”

“No. Not going to. Talk to me.”

Yes, I’ve heard of YouTube.”

Check!

 

Posted in Special people, Talking to myself. Tags: , , . Comments Off on No I do not want to look at your condo rental in Santa Monica

I met an angel today

It was raining.  I set out without an umbrella because I wouldn’t be able to carry it with groceries. The rain had become heavy by the time I left the store.  Several tributaries swept the wide sidewalk.  A swiftly flowing stream filled the gutter.   Hard rain drops sank into my trench coat. I wondered how long the brown paper grocery bag could hold out.

A man appeared beside me, keeping my pace, holding his umbrella over us. I glanced up at him, expecting a friend or acquaintance but he was a stranger.  His umbrella was not oversized, just barely big enough for the two of us.  He was close, our sides touching. I looked at him again, directly up into his face.  He was tall.  Black hair, short, a little cowlick in the front. His complexion was pale and luminescent. I said “thank you” and introduced myself.  He told me his name: Ozzy.  We shook hands. “You’re like an angel,” I told him.  He didn’t respond. “How far are you going?” “Straight for a while,” he replied gently.

“Are you coming from work?” he asked.

“Yes, I just needed to pick up a few things.”  We came to my block.  “I am turning down here.”

Ozzy smiled, “Have a nice evening.” I wished him the same, thanking him again, and turned into the rain.

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baseball pitchers

Here we are in the best baseball of the year:  the World Serious playoffs.

I don’t have a favourite.  It doesn’t matter who is playing or who is winning.  I know, it’s a team sport.  But.  The pitchers!

Nothing is more enjoyable to watch.

Coming to set…

Mariano Rivera, closer for the New York Yankees, comes to set – Wikipedia

– beginning with the stretch:  back foot touching and parallel with the pitcher’s plate.  The right handed pitcher will be facing 3rd base with one hand at his side.

When coming to set he will bring his hands together in front of his body.  Most of his weight will be on his back supporting leg.  With his back knee slightly bent he will lift his free leg high.  The thigh and calf will form a 90 degree angle.  Balance is key.  A right-handed pitcher’s knee will be facing 3rd base.  In one smooth motion; stepping forward with his free leg (stride leg), he releases the ball.

The stretch is used when there are runners on base but is preferred in any circumstance.  It has replaced the once popular windup, a motion of bringing the arms up, back, and behind the head, then forward again to deliver the ball.

shoulder

To be counted as a strike the batter must swing and hit the ball foul (unless there are already 2 strikes on the batter, then a foul ball will not count as the 3rd strike), swing and miss the ball, or the pitched ball must cross over home plate and be horizontally placed as the official rules state:  Rule 2.00: The Strike Zone –

“…the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap. The Strike Zone shall be determined from the batter’s stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.”

Weaver-Angels-take-series-opener-from-Texas-971TE7PU-x-large

Jered Weaver. How do You like your poetry?

jeff_francis_2007_09_13

Jeff Francis

The position of the fingers on the ball and the way it is released determine how it will move. The goal is to make the ball as hard to hit as possible. Confusing the batter is ideal. There are many kinds of trajectories: the breaking ball includes the slider – moving to the side away from the batter, or the curve ball which looks high to the batter but drops into the strike zone. The knuckle ball can be a curve ball but is thrown with the fingers bent around the ball, creating a faster, tighter spin. The screwball, one of my favourites, breaks in the opposite direction to a curve or slider.

The change up takes longer to cross the plate, throwing the batter’s timing off.

The most common pitch is the fastball, thrown hard and fast.  Variations in fastballs are determined by the position of the fingers on the seams.

Fastballs cross the plate in the 90 mph range, some faster than 100 mph.

Darren O'Day

the magic of Darren O’Day

Darren O’Day is one of the few pitchers in North American baseball who uses a side arm delivery.  These pitchers are called sidewinders.

Wikipedia:

” ...the four-seam fastball, when thrown by overhand power pitchers, seems to “hop”, or rise* on its way to the plate. This is because the ball is rotating backwards, lowering the air pressure above the ball. The same pitch thrown by the sidearm pitcher causes a horizontal rotation, and consequent sideways movement. Sidearm pitchers whose deliveries are below the horizontal throw a fastball that rotates nearly forward, so the ball will sink rather than rise….”

Adair, Robert K., The Physics of Baseball, HarperCollins Perennial: New York, NY, 2002, pp. 55–62, ISBN 0-06-008436-7 Contains a discussion about whether it is possible for a fastball to overcome gravity sufficiently to actually rise.

Which brings up one of my other favourites, the submarine.

darren sub

Wikipedia:

 … released underhand, and often just above the ground, with the torso bent at a right angle and shoulders tilted so severely that they rotate around a nearly horizontal axis. (This is in stark contrast to an underhand pitch in softball in which the torso remains upright, the shoulders are level, and the hips do not rotate.)

The “upside down” release of the submariner causes balls to move differently from pitches generated by other arm slots. Gravity plays a significant role, for the submariner’s ball must be thrown considerably above the strike zone,[1] after which it drops rapidly back through. The sinking motion of the submariner’s fastball is enhanced by forward rotation, in contradistinction to the overhand pitcher’s hopping backspin.

… the submariner’s spin is not perfectly level; the ball rotates forward and toward the pitching arm side, jamming same-sided hitters at the last moment, even as the ball drops rapidly through the zone.[2]

Shunsuke_Watanabe

Shunsuke Watanabe

Shunsuke Watanabe of the Chiba Lotte Marines is known as “Mr. Submarine” in Japan. Watanabe has an even lower release point than the typical submarine pitcher, dropping his pivot knee so low that it scrapes the ground. He now wears a pad under his uniform to not injure his knee. In addition, his release is so low that his knuckles often become raw from their periodic drag on the ground.”

1 ) Adair, Robert K., The Physics of Baseball, HarperCollins Perennial: New York, NY, 2002, p. 58, ISBN 0-06-008436-7
2 ) Brad Ziegler, AL Rookie of the Year. Hardballtimes.com. Retrieved on 2010-11-20.

 

San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw is one of the top rated pitchers today.  He was the youngest pitcher in major league baseball in 2008, when he was 20.  He is left handed.

Left handed pitchers may not be as effective against a right handed batter:

– Their fastball breaks towards the batter, making it easier to hit.

– A right handed batter will be better able to see the release point of the pitch of a left handed pitcher.

This can be overcome by the talent of the pitcher and what he can do with the ball.  As well, a left handed pitcher is not what the batter is used to, creating novelty and possible distraction.

Pitchers

complex, flexible, single minded and determined, powerful, focussed, discerning

Fast. Strong. Precise.

I had to include you, Lew.

Lew Krausse Jr.

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